Ruled by a succession of dynasties that wielded an irrefutable influence on the foundation of India, modern Bangalore's foundation dates back to the era of Kempe Gowda, a feudal ruler under the Vijayanagara Empire. Known as the "Silicon Valley of India", Bangalore has seen a massive rise of industries across its landscape int he recent years. The nation's leading IT exporter, the busy life in the capital of Karnataka can be tiring and monotonous. So, over the weekends take yourself to some of the most beautiful and scenic locations that go beyond Coorg, Mysore and Ooty, and aren't too far from the IT capital of India.
Close to 350km from Bangalore, Hampi was once the centre of the Vijayanagara Empire. Destroyed by Muslim sultanates, Hampi is an important religious centre with mentions of it in the Hindu mythology, Ramayana. With its architectural magnificence, the Virupaksha Temple is the ruined city's major attraction dedicated to a form of Shiva. The Balakrishna Temple, Achyutaraya Temple, Vitthala Temple are some other monuments that you can go visit.
One of the most popular wildlife destinations in the state, the Kabini Forest Reserve is loved for its lush verdant landscape surrounded by a large lake. Close to the Nagarahole National Park, the reserve is spread over large areas of forestland, water bodies, and mountains. Its spectacular variety of wildlife is sure to leave you awestruck. With four types of deer, tigers, leopard, sloth bears populating this rich land, Kabini's serene environment offers a perfect getaway from the bustling city of Bangalore.
An absolutely delicious sport for history aficionados, Hassan is a city just like Hampi steeped in history and culture. Its temple-architecture is a hint into what to expect from the rest of the state. A trip to the Gorur Dam is a must. Carrying the water of the Hemavati River, a tributary of the Kaveri River, the dam is an important source of energy for the surrounding areas and is a provider of gorgeous views. The Shettihalli Rosary Church is a fantastic example of Gothic architecture originally constructed by French missionaries in the 1860s. Abandoned after the Gorur Dam was formed, the church submerges in the water every year during the monsoons. An irresistible sight during early monsoons when the church is partially submerged, a visit to Hassan should include a trip here as well.
Just 280km from Bangalore, Chikmagalur was called the "Coffee Land" of Karnataka. The Kudremukh National Park is a destination close to this city and often sees numerous visitors. The Bhadra Wildlife Sanctuary is another popular wildlife location with its tropical surrounding providing an ideal spot for relaxation. However, a walk through the tea estates of Chikmagalur is just as gratifying an experience. Furthermore, with a beautiful view on offer, if you trek to the top of the Mullayyanagiri Peak, this small town is full of surprises.
One of the lesser popular hill stations around the area, Yelagiri is a famous place for trekkers. A trek to Swamimalai Hills will bring to one of the most pleasing viewpoints in the state. With paragliding also conducted here, one can capture the ideal glimpse of the location and the 14 hamlets that add to the unyielding gorgeousness of the place. The slow pace of life makes Yelagiri accentuates the need to plan a trip here.